The current NBA season is reaching its climax, and the playoffs are just around the corner.
They are set to get underway on April 15th, and the Dallas Mavericks will be hoping they can halt their current slide and secure their spot in the postseason showdown.
The Mavericks had made a great start to the 2022/23 season; however, they have lost their last three games against the Denver Nuggets, Minnesota Timberwolves, and Sacramento Kings.
With the recent addition of superstar point guard Kyrie Irving, however, there are hopes that the Texas-based team can turn things around. The former Duke Blue Devils standout already has an NBA ring to his name, which he won with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016, and the eight-time NBA All-Star should be exactly what the Mavs need to get back on form.
Jason Kidd’s side already has Slovenian sensation Luka Dončić on the roster, and the link-up between him and Irving should be spectacular.
This Season’s Favorites
The Boston Celtics are currently at the top of the combined championship standings. They have picked up 42 wins against 17 losses so far this season, and they look like the team to beat. As such, it’s no surprise that the NBA lines on Bovada have the Celtics down as the favorites to lift the Larry O’Brien trophy this season for the first time since 2008.
There are a number of other outfits that are hot on their heels, however. It isn’t just the Mavericks that have a Balkan superstar in their ranks. Both the Milwaukee Bucks and Denver Nuggets have two Eastern European stars of their own, and they are both firing on all cylinders.
The Bucks boast Greek power forward Giannis Antetokounmpo. He led them to a first championship in 40 years back in 2021, and they are well positioned to lift the trophy once again this term. They have 40 wins and 17 losses so far this season.
The Nuggets, meanwhile, have Serbian center Nikola Jokić. He has won the NBA MVP award in each of the last two seasons, and he is on course to become the first player since Larry Bird in the early 1980s to make it a three-peat. His side is currently top of the Western Conference with 41 victories and 18 defeats.
A Look Back at 2011
On June 12, 2011, the Dallas Mavericks made history by winning their first-ever NBA championship. At the heart of the championship run was Dirk Nowitzki, who was in his 13th season with the Mavs and had finally been able to take them to the top. He was named MVP of both the regular season and finals series due to his consistent high-level performances throughout.
He was joined on the roster by other key contributors such as Jason Terry, who provided leadership off the bench; shooting guard DeShawn Stevenson, who provided tough defense and timely three-point shooting, center Tyson Chandler who brought defensive prowess from his previous time with New Orleans Hornets as well as Shawn Marion who played an important role as a do-it-all forward. All these players contributed heavily to Dallas’ success that year.
Regular Season Performance
The Mavericks started off strong in the 2010/11 season with a record of 57 wins and 25 losses, which placed them second in the Western Conference standings behind the San Antonio Spurs.
They finished off the regular season on a high note after beating the Lakers 106-100 at home court and giving fans hope that this could be their year.
During the playoffs, they faced Portland Trail Blazers in the first round, which they won 4-2, followed by Kobe Bryant’s Los Angeles Lakers. The California outfit was whitewashed 4-0 in the conference semi-finals despite having a higher seeding than their Texas-based rivals.
In the conference finals, the Mavericks would face off against the Oklahoma City Thunder, who were the fourth seed in the Western Conference. They were brushed aside by a score of four games to one, setting up a matchup against the Miami Heat in a repeat of the 2006 NBA Finals series.
NBA Finals Victory Over Miami Heat
Five years prior to the 2011 NBA Finals, the Miami Heat defeated the Dallas Mavericks by four games to two. And since then, Miami had only gotten stronger. They had a roster containing the likes of Lebron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh, and they were expected to dominate the league for years to come.
Despite being heavy underdogs against the star-studded roster, the Mavs persevered and went on to win the series by four games to two.
Dirk Nowitzki was named MVP after averaging 27 points per game during the finals series, including a critical performance during Game 6 when he scored 21 points, leading Mavs toward their maiden Larry O’Brien trophy.
The victory was even more impressive considering the fact that the Heat went on to reach the NBA finals in each of the next three seasons, winning two of them.
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